Your thoughts can impact on what you see. When we travel down one line of thinking, we assemble evidence to confirm and validate our world view.
We’re out perusing, taking in the sights and sounds on a morning walk in Collingwood.
Up ahead, we see this tree. My FIRST thoughts?
- Instantly I’m transported back in time, to a shopping street in South Yarra, where trees are totally housed within triangular metal structures. Lest they appear too unkempt or unruly, I guess.
‘How hideous’, I think. ‘How could anyone cage a tree like that.’
Later, I’m thinking about the tree again. More particularly, how I read or could re-read the situation.
To cut to the chase, what might be some alternative ways of viewing, understanding or talking to myself about this tree’s living arrangement?
I could see….
• …the wire structure as an obstruction, as hemming in or containing the tree. As ugly compared to the beauty and growth of the tree;
• …the wire structure as affording protection for the tree, limiting possible damage or breakages and enabling a better chance of longer life;
• …the wire structure as a sad reflection of how some people treat trees. That is, it’s contained to limit opportunities for vandalism;
• …the tree as having a wire structure for when it’s growing, to protect it. As it has grown it has exceeded the confines of the wire structure (YAY oh YAY).
There’s many other readings possible as well.
- How would you read it? What ‘thoughts’ come to mind? Let us know in the comments box below.
It’s all in our Reading of Situations
The Key Message – When we start to travel down a particular line of thinking, we may start to assemble a whole range of experiences that support, confirm and verify such thinking.
Thoughts Running Riot: Exhibit A
Our thought processes can impact on what we ‘see’ and what we bring forth into the present time – affecting how we experience the ‘present’ moment.
For example, I see the tree within the ‘metal cage’.
I think: ‘Isn’t it terrible how we treat trees!’ I start to assemble evidence that supports my thinking:
- Caged Trees in other local shopping strips;
- Tree limbs snapped off newly planted trees in other local streets;
- New trees vandalised in my neighborhood – yet not replaced;
- The Government seeking to wind-back the World-Heritage Listing for glorious forests in Tasmania, Australia.
Let’s try to Re-read & Re-frame the Situation
Instead of jumping on the train of negativity, I could consciously alter my thought processes by:
• focusing instead on those parts of the tree that have escaped the structure. ‘You go tree!’
• noticing that the tree is in pretty good health – perhaps due to the wire structure;
• attending (or tuning to) to the right-side of the tree. I could notice the tremendous silver art sculpture (made of kitchen cutlery) in the store window;
• choosing to remember that many trees are being planted in my neighborhood (Yay, trees over concrete) and that few are damaged or vandalised. Most are thriving, like this one.